Peach tree memories:
It was winter 2011 when Craig and I fell in love with our dream family home. A fair sized property, adequate to take on our needs and desires. It was in deed a fixer upper but we could see the potential non-the-less.
Since it was March when we moved in, not every tree was in bloom but we could tell that the trees were by far our favorite part of the property.
Finally spring came and we became a little more acquainted with our homestead. We noticed the crab apple trees, the array of ever greens, the maples, the birches that surrounded our home, but Craig’s favorite, the peach tree sat in the middle of the property. If you look out the kitchen window you can see the sun shine on its leaves and it looked so beautiful when the peaches came in. Craig loved that. I love it. If I close my eyes long enough, and hard enough, I can still picture us standing in front of that window, staring at that peach tree as we did the dishes. (He’s washing, I’m drying). :)
I remember him being very excited about the peach tree, and about making homemade jam and peach cobbler. If I close my eyes long enough, and hard enough I can still see the excitement on his face as he suggested it to me. I can even hear it in his voice. :)
I was in the kitchen one summer day, I think after we were married. Craig came in with a big smile on his face and said “smit, taste this!” he was holding a peach. I stood up in front of him and took a bite of the peach he was holding out for me. It was hard, but tasty. “they are good, eh? A little hard, but still tasty!” he beamed.
I had to smile, that exact thought ran through my head. We were proud of our very own peach tree. :)
Craig died in September.
Winter was so strange this year, actually every season was ‘off’ this past year. Maybe it has something to do with my intense loss, but I just ‘gave up’. I didn’t plant our garden this year, or tend to the flowers. :(
When summer came, the peach tree looked awesome…from a distance. Up close the peaches were black and full of holes. It made me smile as I looked out from the kitchen window. Craig would be beaming at the size of them.
Nathan and his girls came to stay with me for a little while. I was so happy to see them and start the family integration. It was challenging, trying, taxing, exhausting but worth every single second.
It was during there stay that I was outside cleaning up the dog den, (to transform it into the chicken coupe) when suddenly I look up and see Nathan walking toward me. He was holding out a sliced peach on a knife for me. “hey Stace, try these peaches!” he exclaimed. I took the bite and it was so juicy and delicious, I thought for sure he walked across the street to VanDenBorre’s Fruit Farm. He assured me that they were from my peach tree. I was impressed. These peaches looked a whole lot worse than last years peaches, yet tasted much better!
Nate thought it would be nice to pick them, wash them up and jar them. I nodded in agreement. I was fighting the fear to let go of the look of the plump peaches hanging from the tree. I didn’t know how I would feel if I looked out my kitchen window to see a bare tree standing there, those peaches gave me such immediate visual joy. I just swallowed my pride, held my head up high and went with the flow. As Nathan and I picked the peaches from the tree, I couldn’t help but enjoy the new memories that I was in the middle of creating with him.
After we picked the peaches together, and walked inside, hand in hand, his oldest daughter woke up from her nap. Her and I played outside while Nate washed, pealed, sliced and jarred the peaches. I was in such a positive place, although I did notice a bit of sadness carry through too. I cannot lie, it is a harsh reality when you are faced with old memories that frankly can never be repeated, replayed or relived… for me it’s bittersweet letting go of the old memories while still remembering them yet making brand new ones at the same time.
Nate said “well I am glad that the peaches won’t go rotten." Such a simple, sweet thought. (one that my late hubs woulda had too) Yet I was prepared to let those beautiful plump juicy things fall to the ground and smush all over. However had that happened, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing out my thoughts while enjoying my lovely, juicy, sliced peaches.
NO doubt, I HAD the sweetest husband.
NO doubt, I HAVE the sweetest boyfriend.
And without question, I HAVE the sweetest peach tree memories.